Elon Musk buys Twitter

Elon Musk jumps back into deal to acquire Twitter

An agreement would put the world's richest person in charge of one of the most influential media platforms 

Billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk is again proposing to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share, according to a new security filing made public on Tuesday (Oct. 4) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“On October 3, 2022, the Reporting Person’s advisors sent a letter to Twitter (on the Reporting Person’s behalf) notifying Twitter that the Reporting Person intends to proceed to closing of the transaction contemplated by the April 25, 2022 Merger Agreement,” read the SEC filing.

Twitter shares skyrocketed by over 22% on the news.

“We received the letter from the Musk parties, which they have filed with the SEC. The intention of the company is to close the transaction at $54.20 per share,” Twitter said.

Musk, one of Twitter’s most prominent users,  had originally committed to buying the social media company in April, but soon soured on citing concerns that the number of fake accounts, also known as bots, on the platform was higher than Twitter claimed. He officially informed the company in July of his intentions to terminate the agreement.

Twitter,  which has barely been profitable for most of its history, sued Musk to force him to go through with the purchase. The fight, which was scheduled to go to trial in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17, saw the two sides face off in lengthy court filings, private messages and bitter public spats on Twitter.

Musk, who could have paid a $1bn break-up fee to walk away, was set to be interviewed ahead of the trial this week.

Late Tuesday, Musk-a self-described “free-speech absolutist”-tweeted that buying Twitter would provide an “accelerant” to a different project altogether, “X, the everything app.” X is the name of holding company that Musk formed to buy Twitter. It is also a reference to China’s WeChat, a hugely popular app that started life as a messaging service, but has since encompassed numerous other functions, from gaming to social media and shopping.

Since Twitter’s shareholders have already approved the sale to Musk during a special shareholders meeting in September, the deal could close quickly in the coming weeks if the two sides were to settle on the original terms.

How exactly Musk, the world’s richest man, will govern one of the most influential media platforms though, is an open question. Supporters of former US President Donald Trump hope that Musk will reactivate the account of the former U.S. president, who was banned after the Jan. 6, 2021, riot on the U.S. Capitol.

What’s for sure it that the economic and geopolitical backdrop has changed dramatically since Musk announced his intent to buy Twitter last spring.

UPDATE 28/10/2022

Musk has completed his $44bn takeover of Twitter, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday (Oct. 27).

The billionaire who already owns, oversees or has significant stakes in companies developing cars, rockets, robots and satellite internet, tweeted “the bird is freed” and later said “let the good times roll”.

A number of top executives, including the boss, Parag Agrawal, Chief financial officer Ned Segal, and the firm’s top legal and policy executive, Vijaya Gadde, have reportedly been fired.

The acquisition promises to extend Musk’s influence on a social media platform that shapes how hundreds of millions of people communicate and get their news.